When given the chance to interview a 2019 NFL Superbowl Champion – you take it. Which is why we were truly excited to talk to New England Patriots’ tight-end, Stephen Anderson, who was promoted from the Patriots practice squad to the active roster earlier this year.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was quoted speaking highly of Anderson during his time on the Patriots practice squad prior to being promoted to the 53 man roster. “He’s smart.” Belichick said. “He obviously has game experience, but he’s also a versatile player that’s able to do different things.”
Anderson spent two seasons with the Texans to begin his career, and the 6-foot-2, 230-pound tight-end is known for his versatility both on and off the field as an avid reader, disciplined athlete and yoga enthusiast. We sat down to talk to Stephen about everything from his current fitness routine to what’s on his workout playlist.
By Raven Duran
Stephen, can you tell us a bit about where you’re from?
I was born and raised in the eastside of San Jose, California. I went to a school called Piedmont Hills High School.
How long have you played football?
I have played football pretty much all my life. I started playing organized flag football at 5 and transitioned into playing tackle football at 7.
What do you love the most about playing football?
I believe football is the ultimate team sport. I love the art of it, meaning there are so many different positions requiring different attributes and skill sets. Ultimately you have to have 11 guys on the field every single play using these attributes and skill sets in unison to execute a single play and that’s what I love about the sport. It is a gladiator sport with a heavy mix of finesse to it.
What’s one thing most people wouldn’t know about you?
I’m a reader. At home I have a constant growing book collection. Barnes and Noble every off-season is a go to destination, and it really kicks off my off-season having multiple books to read. My favorite genres are self-help, spiritual, medical, nutritional and anatomy.
What would you consider to be your career highlight?
Well right now that is an easy answer. My career highlight is definitely becoming a superbowl champion. It is everyone’s goal in the NFL to win a superbowl trophy and to say that I have done that in my third year is a major career and even life achievement for me
Do you follow a specific diet? How do you prefer to eat to stay in optimal health?
My diet doesn’t have a specific name that you would see or hear about but I do believe in eating right according to my physical requirements. What I mean by that is that the average football game is 3 hours. So knowing what to put in your body to produce an optimal performance over the span of 3 hours is vital. So unlike most diets, football players need a healthy dose of carbs and fats. Those two things help your body produce energy over the course of a game. Also I eat/drink a lot of anti-inflammatories. These are primarily through blueberries, broccoli, and tumeric. I also try to stay away from red meat intake and primarily just stick to turkey, chicken, and fish.
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
Haha that’s a tough one…..but I will have to say any kind of dessert. I have a huge sweet tooth and at my weak points in my diet you can find me eating things like smores, rice krispies, bread pudding, peach cobbler, and sweet potato pie just to name a few
What does your current fitness routine look like?
My routine on the days I workout includes hot yoga in the morning, then I will go do some conditioning and that could be swimming, running, and boxing. After conditioning then I will do either an upper or lower body lift depending on the day.
How often do you train?
I train 4 days a week. I’ll go monday, tuesday, thursday and friday
What’s one exercise non-athletes wouldn’t know of that you recommend for people to try?
I am a HUGE believer in Yoga. I know that may not be a specific exercise by it is something I recommend everyone to do consistently at some point. It is great for flexibility, will improve your muscle strength and tone, breathing, and overall it will improve your mind/body connection. I see myself doing yoga well after my playing days are over. It has been so beneficial to me.
Do your workouts change drastically when you’re off-season vs when you’re on?
Yes off-season training is definitely viewed differently in my mind from in-season training. The NFL season is really long (from late July all the way to February at the latest) so during the season you want to train hard but keep a more maintenance and corrective approach to your training. In the off-season initially you want to work your body back into shape but that is where you make your improvements to your body like getting stronger and faster.
What artists would we find on your gym playlist?
I listen to a lot of different artists on my playlist. My go-to’s would be J. Cole, Drake, 21 Savage, and Migos
What tips and advice do you have for other young athletes looking to build a career in sports?
I would say building a career in sports takes a lot of hard work and discipline. At a professional level there is no such thing as an athlete who doesn’t do those things so the habits that you create now in elementary/middle school/high school well help you get to where you want to go in your career. I would also encourage young athletes to still have fun and enjoy each moment, I think that is what it’s all about. Playing sports is a beautiful thing and it has given me my most important lessons in life so I encourage young athletes to enjoy the moments.
Photography: Shannon Laurine
Styled by: Jai McDonald
Produced by: MUSE & Elevé Style